Archive

Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

My Last Blog Post…Because Blogs Are Dead

April 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Are blogs dead?

Are blogs dead?

A lot has changed in online marketing since I began this blog nearly seven years ago. Nobody is questioning the power of social media any more. Nor do they think it’s a fad. Facebook is a global phenomenon. We’ve learned to communicate in 144 characters or less. Foursquare was a fad and is fading.

There came a point in 2012 that I became convinced it wasn’t worth it for a new business to create their own blog. It’s just too hard to create content, promote it and develop an audience from scratch when Facebook has a built in audience and it is so much easier to share. Established blogs could keep creating for a while I thought.

Four years later, I don’t believe the same thing. It’s time for this blog to move to Facebook to its revamped native publishing system called Facebook Notes. So I’m moving over there to publish the latest online marketing articles. Some people may think I’m jumping the gun. Blogs aren’t dead! What about ads? What about my existing content?

Facebook didn’t kill blogs. Mobile devices did. Cell phone ownership is nearing 90% adoption reports Pew research. 68% are smart phones. Personal computer usage is actually starting to decline. Facebook has invested a lot of money and time into making a brilliant mobile platform and now it’s making improvements so no one will ever leave.

Consider the publishing enhancements that came out last year. For big media publishers Facebook users can view 3rd party content in Facebook without ever leaving the platform. It used to be if you opened a piece of shared content on your mobile device, it may or may not load properly. With content being Facebook optimized, that problem is gone. Look at Slate’s Facebook content as an example of this.

Let’s take a look at Notes. What began as a way to publish long Facebook posts has turned into a full blown blogging platform. Users can upload photos, embed videos, add links…all the things you can do on a blog. But it’s in Facebook and so easy to create and so easy to share. But what about search engines? Notes get indexed. Here’s an example of a test I did for my real estate site –

marmaladelibraryserp1

And the tweet I made about the note was also ranked on the first page.

marmaladelibraryserp2

What about affiliate income or selling ads? Make ad posts on your Facebook business page with your affiliate links embedded. Embed ads within your notes. Existing content is still valuable. When I was running SERP tests on Notes, I received a new pingback from a site linking to this blog. It made me reconsider what I was doing for about half a second. Notes also has metrics showing how many people have seen a post as well as how many people opened the Note to read it. In terms of functionality, it doesn’t lack a thing.

We’ve reached a point where findability is being surpassed by shareability. Mobile usage is making it more important to develop content on a standardized platform and Facebook is trying its best to become that platform. So I’m going to jump to that platform right now.

I’ll keep this blog around because it does still get found and it ranks well for certain keywords. There’s still a lot of great content here that I hope to update and repackage as a book some day. For now, there won’t be any new updates over here. But there will be plenty of great content over on Facebook and Twitter.

See you there!

Facebook Has Replaced the Annual Christmas Letter

December 25, 2014 2 comments

facebookchristmasI’ve been thinking about this post for a little while as I prepared for Christmas this year. My major life events have been chronicled on social media along with photos to document them. Most of the people I interact with use Facebook so they know what’s going on with me when I see them in real life. And I know what’s going on with them based on what they share.

So it’s not too far of a stretch to say Facebook has made the annual holiday letter obsolete. Then earlier this week Facebook launched a nifty little application called your year in review. You’ve probably seen it on your friend’s timelines. If you haven’t already tried it, year in review takes your most popular posts and creates a short montage. It’s completely customizable, so you can add or delete pictures and text. Personally, I thought it was pretty brilliant and the photos it selected indeed encapsulated my year.

Not everybody thinks the algorithm was good. Eric Meyer called his experience with it algorithmic cruelty.

I know they’re probably pretty proud of the work that went into the “Year in Review” app they designed and developed. Knowing what kind of year I’d had, though, I avoided making one of my own. I kept seeing them pop up in my feed, created by others, almost all of them with the default caption, “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” Which was, by itself, jarring enough, the idea that any year I was part of could be described as great.

Still, they were easy enough to pass over, and I did. Until today, when I got this in my feed, exhorting me to create one of my own. “Eric, here’s what your year looked like!”

A picture of my daughter, who is dead. Who died this year.

I honestly don’t remember which picture Facebook’s app loaded for me, but I do know the first story it suggested was a picture of my father on his death bed. I didn’t have that great of a year either, but it was still my year. My father died in 2014 and nothing will change that. Not an algorithm change. Not a deleted post or edited picture. Death is a part of life. I know it sounds cliched, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about my Dad. Seeing him again on that bed with my mother next to his side did bring tears to my eyes. But the beauty of that photo far outweighs the sadness it provokes.

Meyer continues by writing,

Algorithms are essentially thoughtless. They model certain decision flows, but once you run them, no more thought occurs. To call a person “thoughtless” is usually considered a slight, or an outright insult; and yet, we unleash so many literally thoughtless processes on our users, on our lives, on ourselves.

Where the human aspect fell short, at least with Facebook, was in not providing a way to opt out. The Year in Review ad keeps coming up in my feed, rotating through different fun-and-fabulous backgrounds, as if celebrating a death, and there is no obvious way to stop it. Yes, there’s the drop-down that lets me hide it, but knowing that is practically insider knowledge.

Further on he suggests some “fixes” so Facebook doesn’t cause this problem again. I submit if Meyer doesn’t want to see pictures of his daughter on Facebook, he shouldn’t post pictures of her on Facebook. I also submit Facebook allows their memory to live on in ways never previously possible. I believe this is a good thing, not something to be fixed.

Going back to my original thought that Facebook has replaced the holiday letter, we have to consider those who aren’t on Facebook or don’t actively use it. While the death of my father was the low point of my year, five months later I welcomed my daughter into my life. I selectively post pictures of her on Facebook, but I have to send emails to my mother who still won’t join. I assume I’m communicating to my other family members through Facebook as well but found out today my brother hasn’t gone on there for months. I suppose I’ll have to c.c. him on my emails to Mom…

He is also evidence the holiday letter isn’t quite dead, but it is most assuredly on its last legs thanks to Facebook.

Does Facebook's year in review replace the holiday letter?

Does Facebook’s year in review replace the holiday letter?

Social Media for Real Estate – Ranking Test

October 3, 2014 3 comments

The recent announcement of the merger between Zillow and Trulia has a lot of real estate agents concerned. So I did a little research to see if real estate agents could compete post merger. The short answer is they can. You can find the long answer and ways how here.

While I was researching the guide, I decided to do a little test. Could I make a real estate listing post on a Facebook business page and have it show up in a Google search result? My hypothesis was it would get ranked. A few days ago I checked Google to find out. Here’s what I found.

fbserp

I was a little surprised this site showed up. I have feeds set so when I publish something to Facebook, it also goes to Twitter. My Twitter feed shows up here on my right sidebar.

real estate marketing

The entire Twitter post showed up as well. So did another page from this site. That one post on Facebook got three search results on Google.

fbserp2

But I haven’t found the Facebook post itself to be ranked…and it was the source for the content.

My takeaways from this experiment follow-

1. My hypothesis was the Facebook post would get ranked. It didn’t…yet. (I’ll provide an update if that changes.)

2. Social media posts do get ranked. Even if I had no followers on Twitter, a thoughtfully written tweet would get ranked.

3. There is so much power in syndication. I made one post that went multiple places and got ranked at least three times. Every serious online business should be doing this! It’s one of the reasons I said in my guide that every real estate agent should be using an IDX feed.

 

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg Comes to Utah

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

In what he claims was his first speech at a University, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at Brigham Young University in Provo this morning. Along with Senator Orrin Hatch, Zuckerberg answered pre-selected questions for about an hour.

The format was pretty well suited for the large crowd of about 10,000, but to me seemed to be more about Hatch than Zuckerberg. Nevertheless there were a few good takeaways.

Business takeaways

Zuckerberg was pretty humble about his success. He claimed though he is the public face of the company, nothing would get done if it weren’t for the other employees of Facebook. How does he do it? “Make sure everyone you add is really great.”

Though the service has 600 million users, Facebook is only composed of 2000 employees. Leveraging technology and an open source platform creates that kind of scalability. Zuckerberg said the company has a philosophy that “an independent developer should always be able to create something better than a big company.”

Regarding entrepreneurship, he said the biggest attribute any business person needs is to “love and believe in what you’re doing.” There are many challenges along the way and he concluded with my favorite quote, “No normal person would want to build a company.” Normal people wait for things to happen. Exceptional people make things happen.

Facebook

There were some general questions asked about Facebook that I thought Zuckerberg provided some insight into. He said Facebook solved a human problem. We look at Facebook as a technical phenomenon, but the core of its success is it solves a human problem of how to connect with people we know. In Seth Godin’s book Linchpin, he said successful people solve interesting problems and that’s the key to keeping yourself essential in our modern economy. Mark Zuckerberg has done that.

He pointed out with Facebook, we can stay in touch passively with people and still maintain the connection. My personal experience supports this and I’ll bet yours does too.

Transparency and Change

Alluding to the political climate in the Middle East, Zuckerberg said “transparency would be transformative.” However his development of Facebook was clearly for business. “Businesses can’t hide behind a big corporate veil anymore.” Neither can governments, the media or any other public organization.

When pushed on the political aspect, he said the Internet gives everyone a voice. Additionally he claimed more connection equals more empathy and a project within Facebook is physically demonstrating a rising number of connections between people in Israel and neighboring Arab countries.

Hopefully Mr. Zuckerberg will be back to Utah and provide more insight. Thanks to Senator Hatch for bringing the Facebook founder to Utah.

How to Add Photos to a Facebook Business Page

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment
Tags:

Salt Lake Tribune Changes Commenting System

November 1, 2010 2 comments

Beginning Nov. 1, we are partnering with Disqus, one of the Web’s leading comment tool providers. This is a nationally-supported platform used by thousands of websites, and it’s one that will remain flexible and reliable for us as our site continues to grow.

The good news:

• Comments will load faster and be more reliable.

• Your new login will allow you to comment with the same ID at many sites across the web (CNN, Mashable, many newspapers and countless blogs).

• If you’d prefer, you can comment using your Facebook or Twitter account, meaning no new registration of any kind.

First KSL.com shut down comments and the Deseret News made it harder to comment, now the Salt Lake Tribune is making changes as well.

I suggested a while ago a Facebook style commenting system is probably better than other options and it looks like the Tribune agrees. Even though they’re using Disqus, Facebook and Twitter logins will be available too.

This begs the question of whether freedom of speech is being infringed upon. I don’t think it is. It’s a matter of website managers rethinking the behavior that takes place on their pages. Being a “troll” on a message board is the online equivalent of yelling, “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Neither should be protected speech.

There are far too many instances where online bullying is having real life consequences including the suicides of vulnerable individuals. It’s time for reasonable restrictions to be placed on online comments. The new system at the Tribune looks like it will do the trick.

What Does Your Facebook Profile Picture Say About You?

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Nina started a Facebook page for her experiment, gathering over 3,500 members, who shared their reasons for choosing their profile pictures, including:

  • “My profile photo is meant to give the impression that i possess a higher degree of gravitas and sophistication than i actualy do.”
  • “I never show me on my profile, I don’t want to make is easy for me to be found, because of work.”
  • “Mine shows my desire to be Grace Jones.”
  • “This is a photo of my bike, Doris.”
  • “Used to have my wedding photo, but separated and now it’s one of me at the local getting sloshed…”
  • “I like ducks. I particularly liked this duck.”

But with the benefit of a few demographic questions, Nina and Dr Hogan began to see some interesting trends.

“The theory we’re working with is that people want to make their Facebook profile attractive to other people, but it turns out that they do that in very different ways,” Dr Hogan said.

Some interesting thoughts here, but I’m not sure how scientific it really is. I change my photo around fairly frequently, but tend to use photos that have me in them. I did post a shark during “Shark Week” and have participated in a few Internet memes.

I suppose my photo depends on my mood, but will admit to posting things that accentuate the positive.

%d bloggers like this: